Did I have to be depressed upon turning 18 years old? I was excited having gotten to adult age, and the hopes of a bright future soared high for all to view. But here I was, sad with myself and regretting the things I had (not) done. I resolved to abstain from pain causing memories. This, however, did not solve the root cause of my depression. I got disappointed at myself again when I completed my undergraduate studies. I think such situations shall no longer hold me, hostage, for I have now found a way to prevent future regrets.
It is not strange for adults, having found the sacrifice demanded of success to be too much, let go of dreams and desires that once gave them a reason to work hard, be famous or get rich. There is a mass of failures for every handful of successful people – be it in the arts, fashion, music, research or technical fields; there lie many people who succumbed to mediocrity and failure. I choose not to be a victim of mediocrity and failure. I shall overcome as much mediocrity as possible.
Retrospectively, the much I had accomplished in my eighteenth year was only a high school certificate and some certificates in extracurricular activities. I felt, in my 18th year, that I should have done more with my life. On my graduation day, I had accomplished an undergraduate degree, done an international internship, been a class representative and improved in emotional quotient. And yet I felt like I should have accomplished more in my undergraduate years.
Looking forward, I am, like many others, hopeful about being wealthy, health and one who matters in the global community. And I dread waking at my 30th year only to regret that I did not do enough with my time, resources and opportunities. If this sounds like you, I hope that this post shall serve both you and me. Having more time than you need, more resources than you need and more relationships than you need is by design rather than chance.
I, therefore, have a list of lessons I find applicable to living the most out of the rest of my life:
- Ignoring a problem does not make things better. It postpones pain and disappointment e.g., delaying the update of your curriculum vitae could make it harder to apply for a job you know so close to its deadline
- Living like an onion. Do I have to live short life cycles? (campus life, youth life, parental stage, executive phase of life etc) What if I had long term goals and thus make each life of these life phases and stages part of a grand life strategy?
- Living by doing the minimum expected. It is said that the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary is that extra e.g., I think I could have done more than leave campus with a Bachelor’s degree. Had I started this blog earlier, when I was a student, it would be more developed at the time of publishing this blog post.
- Waiting for the perfect moment and time to do something. The earlier the better. Doing things when you feel like doing them is guaranteed to yield mediocre results. Great things take time. Mistakes, Experience, Internship, Failure, and Mentorship are all part of gaining competence in a field of interest.
- Passive aggressiveness. Knowing and doing things are two different things. The potential customers and mentors are not meaningful relationships, until you put them in to use, and get meaningful results. Knowing a solution to a problem does not solve a problem until the solution is translated into action.
It is said that energy follows attention. The difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary person is that extra. Deliberately weaving habits that ensure your goals are on track shall give you fewer reasons to regret, be jealous or envious of others seemingly making progress in their lives.
These are great pieces of advice. I love how you put it. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the extra. Thank you for this lovely post
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I don’t know if you should really be disappointed by your accomplishments because you feel you should do more at each stage of life. Certainly we should push ourselves to make accomplishments, but sometimes “life is what happens while you’re waiting around for your big break,” as they say. Your list of lessons is excellent.
Many thanks for your compliment..Am applying the same lessons to overcome regrets, and better still be grateful of accomplishments!